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A Ohio University Press Book

Locating Southeast Asia
Geographies of Knowledge and Politics of Space

Edited by Paul H. Kratoska, Remco Raben, and Henk Schulte Nordholt

“Questions about the identity of Southeast Asia are implicitly questions about whether Southeast Asia is or can be a nation writ large. For people who live in the region, the answer is ‘no.’ The concept of Southeast Asia evolved from the need of Europe, America and Japan to deal collectively with a set of territories and peoples that felt no particular identification with one another.”

Locating Southeast Asia

“This is a book brimming with important topics and new approaches to students of Southeast Asia to examine and debate. All of the essays will be useful in university courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”


Southeast Asia summons images of tropical forests and mountains, islands and seas, and a multitude of languages, cultures, and religions. Yet the area has never formed a unified political vision nor has it developed cultural unity. Academics have defined Southeast Asia over the years as what is left over after subtracting Australia, the South Pacific islands, China and India. More technically, Southeast Asia is defined as consisting of eleven countries: the ten members of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam), and Timor Leste.

Locating Southeast Asia: Geographies of Knowledge and Politics of Space considers Southeast Asia from a range of disciplinary perspectives. The authors—from Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States—address climate; perceptions from the seas as seen by fishermen, naval officers, and governments; urbanization and industrialization; improvements in transport and communications; and the world of impoverished small farmers and marginalized minorities. Contributors also discuss borders, monetary networks, transnational flows of people, goods and information, and knowledge in shaping Southeast Asia.

Locating Southeast Asia offers important insights for its residents, for those who study it, and for the wider world.

Paul Kratoska teaches Southeast Asian history at the National University of Singapore.   More info →

Remco Raben is senior researcher in Asian history at the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation in Amsterdam and teaches history at Utrecht University.   More info →

Henk Schulte Nordholt is a professor of Asian history at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and an associate professor of Modern Asian History at the University of Amsterdam.   More info →

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In Series

Research in International Studies, Southeast Asia Series, № 111



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